Online learning resources, be it courses, videos, written content, one-on-one coaching, apps, et cetera, provide fantastic opportunities to learn (and teach) how to play the violin and understand music more generally. Though nothing truly beats dedicated in-person violin lessons, there are plenty of excellent alternatives online.
Note that by “resources,” I'm not only referring to video tutoring and full-length courses (though these are arguably the best options). I'm also considering masterclasses, applications, videos and articles, and other online resources for learning how to play the violin.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I've done my best to list out these resources based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Reputation of the violin learning resource
- Quality of education in technique, theory, and learning real songs
- Organization and depth of learning
- Adaptability of teaching to individual students (one-on-one lessons are best here)
- The resource must be currently available
With all that being said, let's list out the learning resources.
The top 11 best online resources to learn how to play the violin are:
- Sage Music
- Online Academy Of Irish Music
- iMusic School
- Peghead Nation
- Violin School
- Violin Lab
- Violin Masterclass
In this article, we'll go through each of the above-mentioned resources to get a stronger idea of what makes them great for learning the violin. Whether you're a complete beginner or a successful professional, there is always something to learn! I'll include links to check out each of the options for yourself to learn more about violins. We'll also consider a few “honourable mentions” worth considering.
ArtistWorks is one of the most unique learning resources that lets students learn from world-class teachers and musicians. There are many instruments to choose from and hundreds of lessons to take.
With each course, you get unlimited on-demand video lessons so you can learn at your own pace and schedule, as well as worksheets, video submissions and access to the Video Exchange Library. The Video Exchange is what makes ArtistWorks stand out amongst the rest. How it works is students get to submit videos to their teachers to ask them questions, receive feedback and tips. Then, the teacher will create a personalized video response for them. This video interaction is then uploaded to the Video Exchange Library, where other students can watch the exchange and learn from it. You will also get unlimited access to the Video Library.
8Notes is a largely free online resource for musicians to learn music and instruments. While it primarily focuses on free sheet music, they also offer a few audio and video lessons. This is a great option for those on a budget or who learn better by ear and sheet music over step-by-step video lessons.
This resource gives you access to a variety of different instruments and music styles. Along with lessons and sheet music, there are additional resources offered by 8Notes. For the violin, they provide play-along tracks, chord charts, tuners, metronome, music theory and forums where you can ask questions and discuss violin advice with other violinists.
Sage Music is a music school that teaches both adults and kids how to play different instruments in person or through their online learning options. Both types of lessons follow the same structure and use Sage Music's very own Arpeggio® lesson system. This attention to detail and step-by-step teaching helps give students the skills needed to play any song on the violin. Along with violin courses, they also teach a variety of other instruments such as cello, piano, flute, guitar and more.
The violin courses range from beginner to intermediate and advanced. Students can also pick which style of violin they'd like to learn, such as classical, rock, jazz, blues, pop and more. At Sage Music, the teachers will work with you to reach your goals from the comfort of your own home.
The online classes are offered via google video or through the Sage Music platform. Once you sign up, you will receive an email with a link in it. Click the link on a video-enabled device, and at your scheduled class time, your teacher will be there.
Online Academy Of Irish Music
The Online Academy Of Irish Music (OAIM) is a great way to learn the violin, the Irish way. They offer five different fiddle courses ranging from beginner to intermediate and advanced and even feature a course to teach classically trained violinists to play Irish music.
Each course comes with on-demand video lessons that can be accessed 24/7. They will teach you to play numerous Irish songs as well as the techniques needed. Also included are downloadable sheet music and mp3 files to follow along too.
Students will get access to community forums to ask questions and share tips with fellow Irish music lovers. OAIM also has virtual jam sessions called “Irish Pub Sessions,” where you can listen and share your love for Irish tunes with a community of musicians worldwide.
iMusic School is an excellent resource for students interested in learning more than one instrument. They offer their students 24/7 access to hundreds of lessons on ten different instruments, including the violin, piano, trumpet, saxophone, etc.
There are options for both beginner and intermediate level violinists. Each course includes video lessons and features interactive exercises, tuners, a dictionary of scales and backtrack options. In addition, all students will get access to the iMusic School app, where they can learn wherever, whenever. The platform features on-demand video lessons and masterclasses from highly accredited musicians and teachers.
Peghead Nation is one of the best online string schools for musicians looking to learn string instruments. They offer lessons for a wide variety of instruments, including the fiddle, bass, banjo, guitar and more.
They offer a range of different levelled courses and styles of the fiddle. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, there is something for you. The courses have a focus on root music such as bluegrass, old-time, Irish and more and will teach you all the skills and techniques needed to master the fiddle.
There is a monthly subscription available for each course, with the option to purchase an “All Access Plan” that lets you access every instrument course available. They are all taught via on-demand video lessons and feature numerous songs. Included with each fiddle course are play-along tracks, detailed notation and techniques and lessons for both hands.
The Violin School offers a learning experience for everyone at all skill levels. They have courses specifically for children and parents, young and adult learners, violinists looking to relearn, ensembles, and teacher training.
The courses are on-demand and accessible anywhere, so you can learn from the comfort of your own home. Students will get access to a digital library with extra learning resources such as interactive sheet music, exercise and backing tracks. There is also the option for one-on-one coaching and live zoom classes taught by Violin School's expert teachers and special guests.
Violin Lab aims to teach online violin classes that are as successful and in-depth as learning from a private one-on-one instructor.
The courses range from beginner to intermediate and advanced to offer something for every level violinist. You will learn everything from how to hold a bow to vibrato, spiccato and individual music expression.
Students will get access to over 600+ video lessons that are accessible 24/7. Along with video lessons, you will also be able to track your progress, play along with videos, access a community forum and get private video lessons with Beth Blackerby, the creator of Violin Lab. Members can upload their videos and receive personalized feedback from Beth. These video interactions are entirely private and will not be shared with anyone else.
Violinspiration is an online violin learning resource that is based on teaching adult beginners how to play the violin. Julia, the creator of Violinspiration, has mastered her teaching methods to help anyone at any age learn to play the violin.
They offer free memberships where you will receive free lessons, sheet music and worksheets directly to your inbox on a weekly basis. You can also request to join “Julia's Violin Academy,” which has step-by-step learning, community and teacher support and feedback through forums, submitting videos and live lessons. This resource has a large community presence and is great for musicians looking to connect and learn with people around the world. You can join daily group live events or connect via the community forum to have community support along your learning journey.
Violin Masterclass was created to provide continuous learning to violinists of all levels by Kurt Sassmannshaus, a renowned german violinist. Here you can find numerous free video tutorials that teach stand and position, scales, arpeggios, double stops, intonation and how to play with either your right or left hand.
Along with free lessons, you can also pay for private one-on-one lessons with one of Violin Masterclasses' teachers. In order to take private classes with Sassmannshaus, you will need to audition first.
Yousicplay is an excellent online resource to learn musical instruments from some of the world's best musicians. The courses are in-depth and teach you the skills needed to take your musical talent to a professional level. Each includes video lessons, customized curriculum and pdf workbooks allowing students to go at their own pace and schedule.
A notable violin course is Lindsey Stirling Teaches Violin And Arranging. This class does require basic violin knowledge and consists of 15 video lessons that show you how to find your own musical style and creativity. She will teach you everything from the creative process, how to create a melody, writing music to how to perform and deal with nerves.
- Masterclass: Itzhak Perlman Teaches Violin
- YouTube: Pro-Am Strings
- Connolly Music: String Pedgogy
- Online Violin Education
- Fiddlerman (free)
- Violin Online (free)